Ministry to Shut-Ins — Visitor


The Ministry to Shut-ins Visitor makes regularly scheduled visits to assigned shut-in parishioners of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in order to share the Eucharist with them; as well, they bring them up-to-date on parish activities and, if required, listen to their concerns and answer questions. Anything outside the scope of the ministry mandate should be brought to the attention of the Coordinator or the Pastor.

Mandatory Activities/Responsibilities

Once the Coordinator has assigned a shut-in to the Visitor, it is her/his responsibility to:

  • Communicate with the shut-in in order to introduce him/herself and to confirm the frequency and timing of visits as outlined by the Coordinator
  • Confirm by phone on the day of each visit that a visit is still in order or, if more appropriate, each visit can be confirmed during the previous visit
  • Attend mass and present the pix when receiving communion in order to obtain the Host
  • Visit the shut-in; celebrate the rite of communion with them and allow time for extra prayers should the shut-in request them
  • Be available to spend a little time listening and chatting with them (some shut-ins have few if any visitors) and bring them up-to-date on parish activities (if possible, bring them a bulletin)
  • Speak with the Pastor if a need arises beyond the mandate of the position (e.g. shut-in requests the Sacrament of Reconciliation or the Sacrament of the Sick)

Skills, Experience and Qualifications

  • Fully initiated Catholic in good standing with the Church
  • A member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish
  • A compassionate listener
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • A clear understanding that the role is not about saving, blaming or converting the shut-in

Personal Traits and Qualities

  • Comfortable dealing with elderly, infirmed or disabled people
  • Able to allay the fears of vulnerable people and live up to stated commitments
  • Accepting and non-judgmental; able to set aside personal needs, preferences and opinions
  • Trustworthy and respectful of the privacy and dignity of shut-ins
  • Able to keep confidences

Orientation and Training

  • Participation in a Lay Pastoral Ministry Visitor's Training program
  • Participation in on-site training with an experienced Lay Pastoral Ministry Visitor or the of Lay Pastoral Ministry Coordinator

Participant Group

  • Assigned shut-ins of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish

Support, Supervision and Evaluation

  • Support for the Lay Pastoral Ministry Visitor will come first from the Coordinator of the program then from the Pastor
  • Lay Pastoral Ministry Visitors should try to visit in pairs if possible. Where this is not possible they should try to schedule their visits for a time when there is someone else in the house with the shut-in person. When this is not possible the Lay Pastoral Ministry Visitor should report to the Coordinator when they are going for the visit and then touch base with the Coordinator to give a report on the visit
  • An evaluation will take place at the end of each 12 month period

Length of Ministry Appointment

  • One year with an option to renew

Benefits and Working Conditions

  • The deepening of faith brought about by the privilege of ministering to God's people
  • The experience of satisfaction in feeling that you are receiving more than you are giving
  • The privilege of bringing the Body of Christ to those you serve and in joining them in the experience of prayer
  • The knowledge of the deep desire of shut-ins to receive the Eucharist regularly and to stay connected to the parish community
  • The strengthening of patience and understanding as stories, problems and concerns are often repeated
  • Working conditions require that the Lay Pastoral Ministry Visitor travel to and from the home of the shut-in by car, public transportation or on foot. Conditions within the home may vary but are normally safe

Screening Measures

Because this ministry is offered to vulnerable people it is by its very nature assessed as a high risk ministry.

  • Completion of the Volunteer Information Form is required along with three references and a police Criminal Reference Check
  • Also, an interview with members of the Parish Screening Committee will be required
  • The Coordinator must also complete the Ministry Covenant Form


Parish Office at (416) 489-1540, Ext 221 or Click Here.